April 2, 2008 12:00 AM

Cambridge MP David Howarth has echoed in the House of Commons the concerns of Cambridge City Council that council housing is unfairly funded.

Mr Howarth sponsored an amendment to the Housing and Regeneration Bill which would have required the government to establish a fairer scheme for the distribution of council housing grants. The amendment was unfortunately voted down.

Mr Howarth commented:

"I'm saddened that the Government refuses to take Cambridge's concerns into account. If we want to meet the need for affordable housing, we need better and fairer funding for Council housing in Cambridge.

"Right now, close to £12 million of the rent the tenants pay is taken by the government to give to repair houses in other areas. This is an average of £1,500 for each house or flat in Cambridge. This just isn't right.

"Conservative and Labour MP failed to understand the necessity for a better analysis of each Council's resources and needs. The Government must revise the way it calculates grants for local plans as it keeps hindering local Councils."

Executive Councillor for Housing Catherine Smart added:

"I am very disappointed that the government has not listened to our MP and promised to bring in a fairer system. The present system is just daylight robbery and calling it by a posh name like 'negative subsidy' does not make it any better.

I just do not see why Cambridge tenants should be made by this Labour government to pay for the repair of houses in Birmingham or elsewhere. There are many improvements which we would like to make with that money here in Cambridge. For instance, I would love to be able to renew all the fencing but under this unfair system, we just haven't got the money."


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